The little old woman who lived in a middle school.

Dawncartoon[1] (1)Being a school nurse to several hundred middle-schoolers, I sometimes feel like “the little old woman who lived in a shoe; she had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.”  Sometimes they grace my office with horrific things like hangnails, and chapped lips, and trampoline injuries from three days ago.  Other times there are more significant issues to be dealt with, parents to be contacted, an occasional ambulance.  Or an arm around the shoulder to dry a tear (hormones flow freely) or a high five on a test score.  It’s just all part of being the person in the building in charge of the bandaids and Tylenol.  (The DEA, however, frowns upon stocking Valium for faculty and staff.)

So I do appreciate Moses’ leadership in the Old Testament.  He had to have Continue reading “The little old woman who lived in a middle school.”

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Mom jeans, and other fashion faux pas’

IMG_20150103_172451138Well, it’s actually happened.  I’ve turned yet another corner in parenthood.

Here in our small Midwest town we are superiorly blessed to have, not one, but several very nice second-hand shops.  I’m a true re-purposed human being, (even my dog is a rescue), so my children were likewise brought up in this frugal practice.

Recently, my eldest called from the West coast, where prices are not q-u-i-t-e as judicious has here at home, and wondered if I could look for a few things, including jeans.  But not just any style.  She was specifically requesting—are you ready?? (I just so love this!)—“MOM” jeans.  Yes!  High-waisted, the kind I used be to chided for a decade or two ago.  Continue reading “Mom jeans, and other fashion faux pas’”

Buckle in, God’s got a plan

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I was always one of the tallest kids in class.  Back in high school I used to joke that the main reason I was on the girls’ basketball team was so that I could get off the traveling bus first just to intimidate the opposition.  Despite what they may have initially seen, in reality they didn’t have much to worry about.  My lack of athletic prowess may have been caused by hidden orthopedic challenges (no longer hidden, I might add!), latent asthma (ibid.), or simply a lack of interest and/or talent.  Like my 6’5” brother once observed, tall people rarely have to jump…for anything.

Nevertheless, what we see with our eyes can be scary, because we have a way of interpreting it through the lens of past experience, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, it’s a safety mechanism.  If there’s a motorcycle coming down the road, past experience says it behooves me to move.  Unless, of course, I’m an 18-wheeler with the right-of-way, then I expect the burden of wisdom to rest with the motorcycle.

With this in mind, I suppose I can have a little compassion on Continue reading “Buckle in, God’s got a plan”

Open your hand, and…voila!

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280My husband is not a lumberjack, but he’s not afraid of hard work either.  I think I’ve told this story before, in a bit more detail perhaps, but it’s still one of my faves:

One of our notorious Midwest storms had blown through, and in its wake we had an intimidatingly sizable branch in our side yard.  All Bob had was an axe, and so out he went to get started.  Not long into what he expected to be hours of work, a friend “just happened” to drive by and invited Bob to use his new chainsaw.  Whew! 

Still, it was quite a bit of timber now piled up, but—low and behold!—here comes some young men with a flat bed, and $30 later our yard was cleaned up.

But it all started with Bob’s axe in hand.

Segway to the scene described below: God is talking to a very hesitant hero-to-be, gearing him up for the important adventure of Continue reading “Open your hand, and…voila!”

Destitute to destiny

destiny

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8  New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Step away from the baggage, and no one will get hurt.

bellman-luggage-cart-104031_1280

Remember the days of playing “Hide and Seek”?  (Yeah, I also remember “Red Rover, Red Rover”, potential broken bones and all, so let’s stick with “Hide and Seek”.)  I’m not sure if I ever actually won, probably not known as the most ingenious covert operative, but I might posit that most of us have become fairly adept in our daily lives at hiding our true selves in various ways, …even from our true selves!

One of the many things I love about the Bible is the complete candor and mirror-like reality of its stories.  The heroes (with the exception of only One) are nuanced and flawed, their follies and foibles paraded befor us not only to see, but to be related to.  And I do.  Heartily.  One such character is the first king of Israel, a fellow named Saul, described as tall, dark, and handsome (okay, that’s not me), but evidently with a supreme inferiority complex, (that’s where I fit in).  Here’s a young buck that God has chosen to be king, God’s prophet proclaims him to be king, and he even LOOKS like a king!

Pick up the story as the prophet, Samuel, comes to anoint him before the nation of Israel in a special ceremony:

“So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the LORD, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”  *

Cracks me up.

Interestingly, earlier in the same chapter we are told that God gave Saul a “new heart”, which informs me that when God chooses me to accomplish something, he will also prepare me inwardly for that job.  However, it doesn’t just stop there.  That “new heart” must be nurtured and protected or else the weeds of old ways of thinking and outdated patterns of feeling or processing experiences will creep back in again.  That’s when I’m tempted to duck out of sight, so to speak, to hide myself from fear of past shame or failure.

The truth says the opposite.  As forgiven children of God, only when we step out from behind the baggage of our past can we then step into our full destiny, trusting His work in and through us whether that puts us in the spotlight or not. 

In other words, since God, through His Son Jesus, has already come to seek us, we no longer have to hide.

*I Samuel 1:20-23  Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt) (Kindle Locations 15566-15569). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.